You working with me tonight?
I sighed as I saw the text message buzz in on my phone, "Brandy, what am I going to do?"
"You've got to act like you don't know," my coworker and friend Brandy said as I paced around the kitchen of her apartment.
"But it's so hard! I'm dying to tell him I know, but Jen said I've got to keep its secret and ugh," I plopped down on the couch, staring at the screen of my phone and pondering a response.
"Since you pretend around Jen that you didn't hook up with her brother, you can pretend around Ian that you don't know about his almost-girlfriend," Brandy tried to reassure me.
"Easier said than done in this case," I muttered darkly.
I happened to know a lot of things about people that I shouldn't and Ian was no different. I happened to know a lot more about him in particular than I was letting on.
This was the downside to being all-knowing: sometimes I had to pretend I was just as oblivious as the average bear.
"I think that table there is requesting you," Ian said nodding to a pair of guys who had just walked into our tiny pizzeria.
I raised my eyebrows, "Its your turn," I smiled darkly. They were ugly and nerds.
"Weren't you just saying how all these tables are requesting the 'the good looking guy waiter' to be their server?" I quoted him as he returned with the drink orders from the ugly guys.
"Maybe I'll slip them your number'" Ian said teasingly.
He could have never left for two months in London. Things were as normal between us as they always were: the witty banter, the backhanded flirting, the teasing. It was another day at work with Xaylia and Ian. The days where it was just the two of us waiting tables were always the best; we could flirt without anyone else catching on and had each others' undivided attention.
"You coming up for the tailgate on Saturday?" Ian asked me as I took the seat across the table from him as he rolled silverware.
"I don't know, I was planning on going up in two weeks and I don't want to take off two Saturdays in a row, I would probably get fired," I rolled my eyes. I wouldn't get fired but this place wouldn't run nearly as smoothly without me to call the shots up front.
"Well next week is also my birthday party so you've got to come up for that," Ian said.
I already knew that of course, "I've got to ask, what is the appeal for you, now out of college, to go up to Michigan State to party?"
"Jennifer," he answered instantly, "we always try and celebrate our birthdays together."
Their family was close, it was cute, " Ahh I see. I do have another party I'm going to that night but I'll grace you with my presence," I grinned.
Amanda, the almost-girlfriend, was on the tip of my tongue as we chatted about our weekend plans for the upcoming few weeks.
"My birthday party will be the first time we party together, in public," Ian said added that last part with a sly smile that I returned.
"Us in public? What a weird concept," I added dryly.
As I drove home I recounted the events of our first shift together again to Sarah when I saw a text pop up on my screen, "Sarah he seriously never left, it's just like it always is. He just texted me, like he always would after we worked together."
Then the winky faces mysteriously worked their way back into our conversation and the last text I responded to before i drifted to sleep hours later referenced one of our past "sexy hot time meetings." I couldn't help but wonder if Jen didn't have the full story when she told me abut Amanda because guys who like someone else shouldn't be sending so many winky face to another girl. Especially one who happens to be an expert in interpreting their meanings... And who happens to know a bit more than she should...